Grotta di San Michele Arcangelo di Orsara di Puglia

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The origins of Orsara seem to be intimately linked to the existence of the cave of San Michele. The oldest evidence of Orsara, in fact, is found in a diploma of 1024 in which it is said that the border of the territory of the city of Troy reached the "speluncam Ursariae". It was probably the cave of the Angel, which at that time was already known for the cult dedicated to San Michele and therefore assumed as a topographical reference point. There is no information about the origin of the cult of St Michael in Orsara, while it is certain the historical importance of the site that stood along the Way traveled in the Middle Ages by pilgrims from northern Europe headed to Monte Sant'Angelo.

The cave, of natural origin, originally opened on the ravine of the Angel Channel. Today it is accessed either through the Vestibular Church of San Pellegrino, built in Baroque times and collapsed and rebuilt in 1927, or through a winding staircase, carved into the rock, called Scala Santa whose entrance consists of a neo-Gothic tower. The cave of the Angel, in natural rock, has graffiti and engravings left on the walls by pilgrims and fragments of frescoes; the ceiling is configured roughly as a barrel vault. Inside in the area of the presbytery there is a beautiful altar of the seventeenth century on which from 8 May to 29 September is placed the beautiful wooden statue of the Archangel of the eighteenth century.

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